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Botswana Accommodation

A vast land-locked area of approximately 582,000 square kilometres, Botswana is divided from its neighbours, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia, mainly by rivers, some of which flow only during the wet season. Two-thirds of the country is covered by the Kalahari Desert, a wind-blown, semi-arid, flat plain. Places of interest are are the Chobe National Park, Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Okavango Delta, Linyanti Swamp, Makgadikgadi Pans, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Tuli Block and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The rainy season is from November to April, with the dry period May to October.

Previously a British Protectorate, Botswana became an independent republic in 1966. It has a population of more than one million, concentrated mainly in the catchment area of the Limpopo and the eastern part of the country. Botswana has three diamond mines, and diamonds are the main export. Tourism is very important, but the remoteness of the terrain makes it difficult for independent, individual tourists.

The Okavango Delta is created by the Okavango River, the third largest in Southern Africa, spreading out on reaching Botswana. After passing through the Popa Rapids, the river creates an enormous delta of over 15 000 km². This consists of a network of channels, ox-bow lakes, flood plains and islands. The main attraction of the Delta is its beauty and solitude. Safaris center on fishing, walking and bird-watching or gliding through the clear water on a “mokoro” (wooden dug-out).

Chobe is one of the richest wildlife areas in Africa. There is an abundance of game, in particular great herds of buffalo and elephant. Boating can be undertaken on the Chobe River, which offers an ideal opportunity for bird-watching and viewing game. The Chobe National Park has one of the largest elephant populations in Africa, estimated at over 35 000 (more than five times the entire elephant population of South Africa).

Linyanti lies in the furthest corner of the Chobe National Park. Secluded and un-crowded, this short trip of swampy river frontage is reminiscent of the Okavango's permanent waterways with papyrus-lined lagoons, reed-beds and a towering canopy of trees.

The Moremi Wildlife Reserve lies entirely on tribally owned land, which was set aside in 1962 to be protected for future generations. Extended in 1970, the reserve now covers most of the north-eastern and central Okavango Delta and supports a vast range of animals, including cheetah and wild dog, and an abundance of bird life. Moremi includes both the Delta and the desert. There are a number of public camp sites within the reserve. Lodges offer game-drives and boating on the Okavango waterways.

Savuti is located at the southern end of the enormous Chobe National Park. The expanses of uninhabited land contain an abundance of wildlife, particularly predators, including lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal and wild dog. Nearly 300 species of birds have been recorded in the Savuti during the summer season. Accommodation is offered in private game lodges and tented camps.

Makgadikgadi Pans was in pre-historic times, the largest inland sea in Africa - 80,000 km² in extent, and up to 30 metres deep. Now, in the wet season, this vast area of salt pans interspersed with low-lying grass islands is the destination of herds of migrating Zebra. It has an unspoilt beauty unlike that of any other part of Botswana.

The Kalahari Desert is a semi-desert area comprising almost two-thirds of Botswana. Best known as the home of the Bushmen or San people, the area has low vegetation, bare pans and vast open spaces. There are three game reserves in the Kalahari: Khutse Game Reserve - opened in 1971 on Bakwena tribal land and covering an area of 2,500 km². The extensive mineralised pan system within Khutse provides an important habitat for wildlife attracting herbivores to graze on the grasses of the pans, drink the mineralised water in the rainy season and to lick salt in the dry season.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the second largest game reserve, measuring 52,800 km². Situated right in the middle of Botswana, this reserve is characterised by vast open plains, saltpans and ancient riverbeds. Varying from sand dunes with many species of trees and shrubs in the north, to flat bushveld in the central area, the reserve is more heavily wooded in the south with mophane forests.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is situated in the south-western area of Botswana. This is a dry area with high sand dunes and deep fossil river beds. The park is known for its huge herds of springbok, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest and also the various predators, lion, cheetah, hyena and jackal.

Tuli Block is about 350 km long, stretching from the corner where the Shashe and the Limpopo Rivers meet in the east, right down to the Notwane River north of Olifants Drift in the South West. The Tuli Block consists mainly of privately owned farms, but the eastern section has been declared a game reserve, known as the Northern Tuli Game Reserve.

Larger than Denmark or Switzerland, and bigger than Lesotho and Swaziland combined, the 52,800 square kilometre Central Kalahari Game Reserve, which was set up in 1961, is the second...

The Chobe National Park is located in the Northern part of Botswana and comprises an area of approximately 11 000 km². The park lies along the Chobe River, which borders Botswana and...

As one of the oldest towns in Botswana and site of southern Africa's first gold rush, Francistown, home to 92,500 people, is a typical frontier town, strategically placed as the gateway...

Often described as Africa's fastest growing city, Botswana's capital Gaborone is a vibrant and colourful city, which lies in the flat valley between Kgale and Oodi hills, on the Notwane...

Ghanzi is a town in the western part of the Republic of Botswana in southern Africa. It is the administrative center of Ghanzi District and is known as the "Capital of the Kalahari"....

Gweta is a small village in Botswana. It lies about 205 kilometers away from Maun and about 100 kilometers from Nata. The village is ideally situated to take advantage of the gateway to...

Not too long ago Kasane was a remote and forgettable small village. However, its strategic location along the main tourist routes (meeting point of four countries - Botswana, Zambia,...

In the furthest corner of Chobe National Park lies the forgotten paradise of Linyanti. Secluded and uncrowded, this short strip of swampy river frontage is reminiscent of the Okavango's...

Makgadikgadi, the name of which implies a vast open lifeless land, is not without its folklore. There are stories of people setting out from Gweta to explore the land that lay between...

Almost all tourists entering the Okavango do so through Maun, situated at the gateway to the Delta and Moremi Game Reserve. Maun is the tourism capital of Botswana and the administrative...

Moremi, hunted by the Bushman as long as 10,000 years ago, was initiated by the Batawana tribe and covers some 4,871 km2, as the eastern section of the Okavango Delta. Moremi is mostly...

This small village at the crossroads for routes north and west provides an important refuelling and stop over service to travellers to Kasane or Maun. Nata is 190 km from Francistown and...

Described as "the jewel" of the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta is a tranquil and isolated oasis set in Botswana's harsh and arid desert - widely considered as being one of Africa's best...

Palapye is a large town in Botswana, situated about halfway between Francistown and Gaborone (240 km away from Gabarone and 170 km away from Francistown). Over the years its position has...

Beyond Palapye the main road passes through stands of mopane woodland before reaching the eastern turn-off to the mining town of Selebi-Phikwe 88km southwest of Francistown. Many...

Serowe has a rich history in Botswana'; it being the capital for the Bamangwato people in the early part of the 20th century and for being the birth place for many of Botswana's...

The Tuli Block is a long, thin fringe of land demarcating Botswana's southeastern border. The Tuli consists mainly of privately owned game farms, offering spectacular safari tourism. The...

Capital: 
Gaborone
Population: 
1,990,876
Area: 
581,730 km²
Language: 
English, Setswana
Currency: 
Pula - BWP
Major Airports: 
Gaborone, Maun, Kasane
Other: 
Left-hand Driving, Time: CAT (UTC+2)
ZAR 1,750.00 per room per night
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